Ora's Chocolate and Matzoh Rum Cake

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Get ready for one of the easiest recipes to make this passover.  I highly recommend it for all you amazing home cooks who love a chocolate cake with texture and sass, Jewish or not.  This is one of our family's all time favorites from our friend Ora Miller.  She was visiting us from Israel and made this recipe and I've been calling her on the phone every year to scribble it down on some scrap of paper I always lose.

I've altered it to use butter and slightly less butter than she did and also like to add just a little of the wine in at the same time as the rum to make for a crisper cake.  If you like yours moist follow the original step and add a few tbsp of wine to wet the matzoh ahead of the following steps.  If you like a less sweet, less boozy cake, add just a splash in at the end as I suggest.  Besides that, get ready to get on the treadmill because you may inhale the whole thing before your guests even arrive.


6 plain, unsalted matzohs

Sweet Kosher red wine(such as Kedem or manischewitz concord grape), for moistening

2 sticks unsalted butter (Ora uses margarine)

1/8 cup or 25 ml water

5.5 oz. or 150 g Bittersweet chocolate

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 Tbsp. Cacao powder

2 tsp. rum, dark or white

½ cup, chopped walnuts (optional)


Break the matzoh into small pcs. (do not crush or make too fine) and place in a large mixing bowl.  Eyeball a few tsps. of sweet red kosher wine and pour just enough on to lightly moisten the matzohs*.

In a small pot, melt the margarine or butter, water and chocolate over medium low heat.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.  Whisk together the eggs, sugar, cacao powder and rum and slowly pour chocolate mixture into eggs and sugar.  Mix well.

Combine all and fold in the nuts, if using.  Place in a round cake pan or square baking dish and refrigerate overnight.  Cut into squares and serve.

Cook’s Note: *I have made this recipe a number of times and used a few tbsps. To realy lightly moisten the matzoh and have also used just a very small splash of wine while folding in the nuts, maybe 1 ½-2 tsp. I prefer the latter version for a more crisp, less sweet, less manishewitzy tasting cake and do prefer it.